Last night, as I was frantically loading the kids up in the van to get them out of the cold darkness, I was questioning why I really needed to go to the store.
I mean, come on, was it really necessary that we get eggs and milk...tonight? Couldn't we wait?
But no, we couldn't and so after loading the kids up and getting their seat belts all on I went inside to grab my keys. They were missing.
So, twenty minutes later and now a majorly frazzled mama, we found the keys (hidden in my son's night stand, mind you) and headed to the store.
We parked the car, I gave the kids the normal "be good or else" lecture and we headed in. Emma was looking at all the magical lights and the Christmas wreaths they have on sale when she stepped on Lily's heel. Lily then proceeded to fall flat on her face and cut her knee open. She was screaming, Emma was crying, Luke was asking me close to a million questions and baby Will well, he just sat there on my hip holding on for dear life. I picked Lily off the parking lot ground and ran into the store.
The car carts (which are absolutely necessary for a trip to the store for my little family...it keeps them all contained) were all gone. So the baby got thrown in the basket, Lily up top and the twins got to walk. Why do parents who have a choice let their children walk? Seriously, walking children are less than desirable.
After getting Lily a band aid we got all our groceries as we rubbed and bumped into everything since I am 2 carts wide when I have walking children (oy, the walking children) and by the time I made it to the check out lane I was more than ready to escape store land.
As I was loading my groceries onto the belt I heard Lily scream on the top of her lungs which is about as loud as a fire siren, "SANTA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (yes people, I exaggerate not, she held this for at least 10 seconds)"
I quickly turned my head, and there he was - incognito, kind of. Santa had jeans on, a red puffy jacket, and his hat. When he heard Lily, he quickly turned his head and gave her a quick wave and as quickly as he appeared he was gone from the store. However, this fact did not tame my children's wild proclamations to the world that they just saw the real Santa not the "beef and cheese" Santa, but the real Santa (name that movie.)
There was an older woman who was humored by my children's excitement and fascination, when Lily looked at her, put her hands out and screamed in a "why aren't you freaking out too, Lady?!" type of voice, "SANTA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" The lady smiled, and gently replied, "Yes, Santa! How exciting!!!"
The cashier gave me my receipt and we ran to see if we could find Santa. But he was gone.
So we ran out and asked the bell ringer if he had seen Santa leave. Without pause, he informed them that he had in fact seen Santa leave and fly off with his reindeer! The screams that had momentarily subsided returned with full vigor, "OH MY GOSH!!! HIS REINDEER! THAT'S CRAZY!!!"
Please note, that regardless of our wardrobe our family would have been the center of attention last night in the store, but to add to all the adventure, Luke had his Spiderman costume on (mask and all) because that's the way we roll. Oh yes, we were quite the sight.
We started out to our car and my kids had a barrage of questions for me.
Why was Santa at the store? To get groceries of course, before he went to the North Pole.
Where was Ms. Clause? Baking cookies for Santa - she asked him for the groceries.
Does he take his reindeer everywhere? Yes, he doesn't need a car.
That man with the elf hat, was he really an elf? No, he was a manager with an elf hat on.
Can we go back and hug him? No, maybe next time (wouldn't that be kinda weird?)
Let's go home and tell Buddy (our elf on the shelf) that Santa is bringing groceries to the North Pole! Ok!
As I loaded the kids up in the van to go home and I handed them my phone so they could begin to call everyone and tell them what they had just experienced, I couldn't help but feel a little magic myself.
Do you still experience the wonder of Christmas?